Thursday, August 09, 2007

Gigantic Fungus Eats Oregon

If most people were asked to name the biggest living thing on the planet, their answer would probably be "the blue whale." They would be very, very wrong. The largest organism on earth lives beneath a forest in Oregon. It's at least 2,000 years old; it's the size of 1,600 football fields; and it's really hungry.

Armillaria ostoyae is a fungus found throughout the US. But somehow Oregon's climate has allowed one particular specimen to grow to mammoth proportions. The 605-ton fungal colony lies hidden beneath the soil. The only signs of its presence are outcroppings of golden-brown mushrooms (shown above) and empty spots in the forest where Armillaria ostoyae has killed all the trees.

Though several volunteers have offered to "exterminate" the fungus, most scientists agree that little can be done to stop it. Unless a forest fire limits its growth, Armillaria ostoyae will keep eating its way through Oregon.

Read more here.


Blogger Teen Vegan said...

wow...that would be an amazing natural resource (good lord I sound like my world geo teacher?!)

11:08 AM  
Blogger Bohae said...

Oooh... that could be a problem soon... but then, all we can do is stand in awe of these weird happenings :)

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems kinda weird that a fungus could choke the life out of gigantic trees....

12:18 PM  
Blogger International Mastermind said...

That "biggest living thing" thing came in handy yesterday. Who knew?

5:13 PM  
Anonymous ss chick said...

GO OREGON!! since i live in oregon half the year i am naturally in love with the greeness and fullness of everything there, compared to wher i live most of the time. dry. onlt 2 seasons. winter. and summer. blah....

2:19 PM  

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